As fights for social justice continue, the Multicultural Council’s Showcase of 2022 will highlight the talents of its students. The show has been postponed to April and will feature singers, dancers and more.
According to the Multicultural Council of America’s website, chapters of the MCC work to promote world peace and acceptance of all people through education, healthcare and other programs.
“The Multicultural Council is a safe place for students of minority races and allies to gather together and continue to educate ourselves,” said Grace Sullivan, president of the Multicultural Council. “Our goal is to improve ourselves and the Sacred Heart community by advocating and practicing social justice, as well as social diversity both in and outside of our club setting.”
“The Multicultural Council is a club in itself. We’re basically a multicultural club where we all meet in the Multicultural Center, learn about each other’s cultures and have topics that we go through each week,” said junior Stephanie Butler.
“When I went to the first meeting, I saw all these people that I had never seen walking in the hallways before, and I thought, ‘Oh, there are people that can relate to me.’ My high school was very small, it was a predominately white school, and there weren’t any clubs at all relating to culture,” said Butler.
According to Economic Policy Institute, schools are still segregated by race and ethnicity, even over six decades after the Supreme Court declared that “separate but equal” schools were unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education.
“The Multicultural Council is a big thing for Sacred Heart because we all know it is a predominantly white institution,” said sophomore Ishpal Pandhal, president of the International Student Council and international student from Kenya. “Over the past, there has been little to no representation of people of color.”
Data USA reports that as of 2019, 69.7% of SHU students are white, 11.4% are Hispanic or Latino, 5.35% are Black or African American, 2.33% are Asian, 2.18% are two or more races, 0.164% are American Indian or Alaska Native and 0.0874% are Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders.
“We’re seeing all of that’s changing because SHU is changing its initiatives,” Pandhal said. “I like SHU because of the fact that they acknowledge some of these things and allow the starting of multicultural clubs and the Multicultural Center, a safe space where students can feel welcome for who they are and don’t feel judged or threatened by any individual.”
Butler said, “I’m Asian American and when I was looking for clubs, one thing I noticed at the time that I was a freshman was that we didn’t have an Asian American Club at Sacred Heart. The Multicultural Council was where I found that I could fit the best.”
Sullivan said, “Our showcase is being postponed to allow our performers more rehearsal time and flexibility, but I am so excited to see some of our performers returning from prior showcases as well as OPK performing step at our showcase!”
Butler said, “When you’re in such a small minority compared to the massive amount of people at Sacred Heart, being heard is one of the most important things you can feel. This is something where anyone can go and speak their truth.”
“There are a lot of things I learned coming to America that I didn’t necessarily know before. I feel like the Multicultural Council showcase is showcasing that while bringing unity and bringing everyone together for one cause, which is diversity and inclusion. I recommend everyone going to the showcase,” said Pandhal.